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The City of Miami Beach and the G.O. Bond Oversight Committee Creates Transparency for Miami Beach Residents

February 20, 2019
Miami Beach General Obligation Bond - The City of Miami Beach and the G.O. Bond Oversight Committee Creates Transparency for Miami Beach Residents

What is the Miami Beach General Obligation Bond and what is the money going towards?

The G.O. Bond is a debt the city takes on to provide the municipality with resources to put towards capital improvements usually repaid through a form of taxation and/or revenues from completed improvements.  These funds are not to be used for everyday expenses and maintenance issues because those dollars come from the City’s General Fund.

November 2018, Miami Beach residents voted into place the G.O. Bond.  The three specific project areas were: 1) Parks, Recreational Facilities and Cultural Facilities 2) Neighborhoods and Infrastructure and 3) Police, Fire and Public Safety. This planning process began February 2018 with the Mayor’s office and a G.O. Bond Advisory Panel in preparation for today.  For many months, they heard from hundreds of Miami Beach residents during numerous local community events.

In order to expedite the process and ensure responsible distributions, the city of Miami Beach instated a G.O. Bond Oversight Committee.  The city has put together a very well-organized plan for the next decade. Of the total amount, $439 million, the city of Miami Beach has $150 million to put towards the first phase of large projects for the 2019-2022 years.  This first G.O. Bond disbursement will go to projects like the baywalk, parks, a public safety radio system, resilient seawalls and living shorelines, just to name a few.

Every three years, Miami Beach will have additional funds distributed from the G.O. Bond to put towards projects put forth in the plan.  Committees will reevaluate the status of previous projects and the viability of future projects prior to each fund distribution. The project management team has the foresight to quickly begin the simple projects and create “quick wins” for the residents.  While working tirelessly on the urgent projects, they are also beginning the planning stages for the “Big Impact” projects that will take years to plan and build.

Does the city want the residents involved at this stage and where can I find out details about the Miami Beach G.O. Bond projects?  

Miami Beach General Obligation Bond - The City of Miami Beach and the G.O. Bond Oversight Committee Creates Transparency for Miami Beach Residents

The city of Miami Beach, your Commissioners, and the committee value transparency and have put into place all the necessary tools to facilitate transparency. Resident input is more than welcome! All details of the G.O. Bond expenditures and planning are written in detail at the G.O. Miami Beach Website. Find out how you can help and sign up for their email updates.  https://www.gomb2018.com/go-miami-beach/    This site also includes the calendar of events, video recordings of all the meetings and written meeting notes.  The local Miami Beach city representatives are also available to present information at your organization’s next meeting.   

How does the Miami Beach General Obligation Bond process work?

Planning for the many different types of projects is a delicate balance of resources because money can only go so far.  The G.O. Bond Oversight Committee is not only helping to distribute the dollars, but also defining the timing of the projects in conjunction with other G.O. Bond projects and additional unrelated city and private projects.  The meeting facilitators formatted the meeting process to mitigate scope creep and distracting tangents. With the current momentum from the community, the present focus is on efficiency and realistic achievements for the residents.  As we all work towards making a better tomorrow for our Miami Beach neighbors, please remember to have patience, understanding and a big picture mindset during these much-needed changes.

One of our company owners, Laura Veitia, at Urban Resource in North Beach, is now serving on the G.O. Bond Oversight Committee.  She says, “It is an honor to be able to serve on the committee with these extremely knowledgeable people. Everyone has a unique perspective they bring to the table.  We all work well together and, as locals, have the best interest of our city in mind. This first phase is really about effectiveness and driving the change for which our neighbors voted. The future of Miami Beach is optimistic!”  The G.O. Bond Oversight Committee is made up of seven voting members that include two representatives from each neighborhood of Miami Beach: North Beach, Mid-Beach, and South Beach. Representing North Beach is Wendy Squire and Laura Veitia. Representing Mid-Beach is Yechiel Ciment and Jack Glottmann.  Representing South Beach is Jason Greene and Marie Peter. The Committee Chair is Karen Rivo. There are three non-voting members that include Robert Gonzalez of the City’s Parks and Recreation Facilities Board, Max Litt of the City’s Sustainability Committee, and Ron Starkman of the City’s Budget Advisory Committee.

Mark your calendars for next meetings:  

Thursday, 2/21/19 5:00PM – 8:00PM  Location: Miami Beach City Hall – City Manager’s Large Conference Room – 4th floor

Thursday, 2/28/19 5:00PM – 8:00PM  Location: Miami Beach City Hall – City Manager’s Large Conference Room – 4th floor

Monday, 3/4/19 1:00PM – 5:00PM Location: Miami Beach City Hall – City Manager’s Large Conference Room – 4th floor

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